Tag Archives: singles

ziplining

Ziplining on Earth Day with Events & Adventures Minneapolis

Our Minneapolis members celebrated Earth Day this year by ziplining through the verdant spring Minnesota landscape. Nestled approximately one hour southwest of the Twin Cities, Kerfoot Canopy Tours in scenic Henderson is home to the longest, fastest, and highest zip lining experience in Minnesota. Originally created to help study the animal and plant life in Costa Rica, ziplining is now used as an exhilarating natural rollercoaster experience!

For two and a half hours, our members were able to go ziplining through 14 different lines with a professional guide. Our two groups were guided through a ground school course before progressing to higher and higher lines as they went along in their journey. With over a mile of lines, a 170 foot high suspension bridge and abundant wildlife and forests to explore, our members had this to say about their experiences:

“It was a great time. Guides made us feel safe and comfortable. They were professional and fun. Course was great for learning and built us up well to the taller and faster lines. It was a great time length where it wasn’t instantly over but didn’t take up the whole day. Never boring. Gorgeous views. Great staff. Good time for all!” ~ Member Jessyca Flug 

“Great event! Really fun group, good guides & a challenging course. Now I wanna go skydiving!” ~ Member Bill Slater

Events & Adventures fills your calendar with awesome events like ziplining and skydiving every month.

hang gliding

Hang Gliding with Events & Adventures Phoenix

Events & Adventures Phoenix took things to all new heights and spent Sunday soaring above the city. We went hang gliding and experienced a whole new world. High above the zooming cars, city lights, and endless noise we found ourselves at peace among the birds. We were strapped safely and securely into the harness and got the whole thing started with a little help from a tow rope and an airplane specially designed to pull hang gliders.

Once we smoothly reached 3,000 feet we were released from the plane and left to our own devices… well, okay, maybe not entirely alone. We flew tandem, of course, and with the assistance of our instructors some of us even got to try our hand at piloting the hang glider. Some of the turns were similar to those on a roller-coaster, but nothing crazier than that! The entire experience from start to finish lasted about 15 minutes, but a lot of us felt like we could hang out up there for hours! Landing even seemed as effortless and gentle as the take off and perfectly brought everything full circle.

Some members conquered their fear of heights, others stepped outside of their normal comfort zone, and some members just came along for the ride completely without worry. One member recalled his experience as being incredibly nervous the night before and leading up to the event, but once walking out onto the pavement and towards the hang glider he was filled with a sense of calm. Another member was even lucky enough to glide alongside a red hawk and was left with an unforgettable memory. Talk about a once in a lifetime experience!

From start to finish and with the support of friends, we all knocked something new off our bucket lists.

We even overheard a member that was originally afraid of heights talk about potentially going skydiving in the future! It’s safe to say you can’t knock something until you try it and you never know what experiences might open up a whole new world of adventures. Hang gliding for Events & Adventures was another huge success and we can’t wait to get out there and do it all over again!

shanghai adventure

A Shanghai Adventure Ends Our Amazing Trip to China

On Day 5 was the first day of our Shanghai adventure, but we were finally able to have a bit of a downtime before our afternoon flight there. The tour days are long and packed so it was nice to be able to relax at the hotel and visit a few local spots. It wasn’t too long before we arrived in Shanghai and met our local tour guide Allen, who was extremely knowledgeable about the city and gave us so much information on the way to our hotel.

The first evening in Shanghai was like a dream. Our tour guides offered a cruise on the Huangpu River, where we were situated in the boat’s VIP section. Being in the VIP meant we wouldn’t have to fight for good photos of the Shanghai skyline! The Huangpu River is considered a symbol of Shanghai, originating at Dianshan Lake and emptying into the Yangtze River at Wusongkou. It is 71 miles long and 437 yards wide and is ice-free year round. The river basically divides Shanghai into east and west. One spectacular sight is that the two suspension bridges, the Nanpu Bridge and the Yangpu Bridge, appear to arch over the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and is said to resemble “two dragons playing with a ball”.

The west bank of the Huangpu River is the cultural, residential and entertainment center of Shanghai. The Bund, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Waibaidu Bridge, and the oldest park in Shanghai, Huangpu Park, are located on the west bank. In addition, many historical buildings left over from Shanghai’s colonial days have been preserved. The east bank of the river (Pudong) is the newer district of Shanghai and is its financial and commercial hub. Steel and glass structures are abundant here. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower, skyscraper hotels, offices, and malls of the Lujiazui Financial Zone are located on this side of the river.

Cruising on the Huangpu River has become a must for most visitors to Shanghai. The busy wharfs and the “three-layer waters (or three-color waters)” at Wusongkou are within sight while on the boat. The ‘three-layer waters’ are formed by the convergence of the Huangpu River (gray white), the Yangtze River (yellow), and the East Sea (green) during high tide. When the sun sets, the river is veiled in the glittery neon lights. The nighttime skyline of the city was definitely one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen.

Day 6 was our last full tour day of the trip as Day 7 was a free day. Our Shanghai adventure continued with a tour of the silk factory. China, and specifically Shanghai, is known for its silk and Suzhou is most famous place for silk producing. We learned about the entire lifespan of the silkworm followed by watching them make silk products.

After the silk factory we arrived at The Jin Mao Tower which is 420.5 m high, with altogether 88 stories and total construction area of 290,000 square meters. It is a perfect combination between the Chinese Traditional Architecture Style and the advanced building technologies of the modern world. Some of our members decided to try the Sky Walk—walking around the outside of the tower on the 88th floor attached to just a bungee rope. Don’t look down!

After exploring the views at The Jin Mao Tower we arrived at The Bund, which we had seen on the boat tour the evening before. It was a beautiful day for walking, exploring, and seeing that it is a boulevard lined with impressive neo-classical buildings. The Bund is the classic image of Shanghai and the city’s main attraction. Sweeping along the western side of the Huangpu River, the majestic building dates back to Shanghai’s grandest days. Many banks and financial companies built impressive offices here in the early 20th century when Shanghai was the financial capital of Asia.

After The Bund we decided to head to what they call the “Shanghai Bazaar”, the Yu Yuan Markets. It was packed as it just so happens it was a National Holiday in China called “Labour Day”. Here we were able to purchase a mish-mash of items including traditional Chinese arts and crafts and souvenirs, ornate chopsticks, Chinese medicine, walking sticks, fans, silk umbrellas, bamboo and rattan furniture, goldfish, pottery, and much more. We all did some shopping, had lunch on our own and then met up with everyone to go check out the Yu Yuan Gardens which was a stunning layout of beautiful pavilions, miniature lakes, bridges and rock formations.

After exploring the Yu Yuan Gardens we had time left over so our tour guide’s brought us to what is called The Shanghai French Concession. The French Concession is the area of Shanghai once designated for the French, consisting of today’s Luwan and Xuhui Districts. Luwan’s Huaihai Road is a busy shopping street and is also home to both Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang, extremely popular shopping and dining spots for tourists. Xuhui is also ever popular for tourists and is home to Shanghai Stadium. The tree-lined avenues and their many Tudor mansions in the area still retain an air of the “Paris of the East”. This place was a little bit of home to us as it had classic western food, draft beer and many people spoke English.

It was bitter sweet arriving at dinner that night knowing it was the last dinner together as the little family we had created on our travels! The friendships created, the memories made, and the laughter would be something that would last a lifetime. To travel with 42 strangers who would become like family was the most surreal experience of the trip. I had expectations going into this trip and this experience had exceeded them all.

The last day of our Shanghai adventure we had to ourselves to be able to explore whatever our hearts desired. Our tour guide Allen put together a tour of his home village of Suzhou, which they call the “Venice of China”. The city’s canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China. Some of our members visited The Classical Gardens of Suzhou that were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000.

Other members visited Shanghai Disney which was only opened last June and is the biggest Disney in the world. They went on rides, ate food, bought souvenirs and had a blast seeing the differences between Disney US and Disney China. Some members went on food tours and ate things such as Szechwan tofu, lamb kebabs, crawfish and wok fired snake. Others checked out markets and museums.

Upon arrival back to the hotel we decided to go out as a group for one last dinner to close out our Shanghai adventure. We went to a French restaurant called Va Bene located in the French Concession that we had seen the day before. We ate the most delicious French cuisine, drank some wine, and reminisced over the past week of our China adventure. Shanghai adventure

Although there are some things I won’t miss, such as Squatty Potties, the smog, language barriers, and having to pay for water everywhere I go (just some of the luxuries we have living in the US and Canada), it will be very difficult to say goodbye to this amazing group of people that I did not know a week ago. Watching the dynamics of everyone come out of their shell from Day 1 to Day 7 was really great to see. The best thing about Events & Adventures is the lasting friendships created, the love connections that have flourished, and that we are all here for one purpose—to have an adventure of a lifetime. Until next time, whether it’s a Shanghai adventure or another amazing place across the world!

exploring china

Exploring China with Events & Adventures Members!

We started Day 3 of exploring China with a trip to the Beijing Zoo…and we got to see the pandas (amazing!), among many other animals, such as hyenas, monkeys, wolves, and many more. After the zoo we took an hour rickshaw tour to a 250-acre village of the Shichahai area, which is the most renowned historical and cultural quarter in Beijing. The ancient imperial mansions, celebrities’ residences, and the trendy boutiques and bars along the narrow alleys showcased both ancient and modern glamour of Beijing.

We experienced the local resident’s daily life by tracing the age-old hutongs (alleys) and courtyards. When we got there we went to visit a local family. While in their home we soon found out that the man of the house was actually an artist who has travelled to 35 countries showcasing his art. They told us about the village, told us some family history, and showcased some of the art work. We were also able to purchase signed artwork from the home studio itself.

After the rickshaw tour, we had to quickly go to the airport as we had an afternoon flight to our next destination—Xian! Upon arriving in Xian we met our local tour guide, Francis, who led us on a very informative tour of Xian on our way to dinner and the hotel. (Did I mention it was all you can eat & drink?) It was a short day for us as it was a travel day and a free night to recuperate. We would need the energy for our Day 4 trip to see another great Wonder of the World!

Day 4 of exploring China was our first full day in Xian. We had a jam-packed agenda as we leave tomorrow for Shanghai. We started our day at the Terracotta Workshop where they actually create the world-famous warriors. They use clay to mold the statues; they then put them in a kiln and bake them. The craftsmen let them bake for up to a few days depending on the size of the statue. Next they let them cool before painting them by hand. We also got to see the statues in the different steps of creation. After the workshop we were able to purchase our own warrior statues.

Once we had finished at the workshops, we ventured to the Terracotta Warriors Museum which is considered an “Eighth World Wonder”. The museum was founded in 1974 when villagers happened upon one of the world’s most astonishing archaeological findings—an 8,000 man army in battle ready formation, each warrior a life-size figure made over 2,200 years ago. When the warriors were found, people in the community thought it was a bad omen from the earth god and that a curse was coming. We explored three different pits, each showcasing a different size, style, and form of statue before grabbing lunch at a local restaurant nearby.

After lunch, we arrived at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was built in 652 AD and is filled with many Buddha shrines, gardens, and courtyards. At the Pagoda there were many shops, filled with items for sale such as like Buddha statues, books, jewelry, incense, and much more. The whole courtyard smelled of incense with a huge pot containing all the incense sticks in the middle. We quickly went to explore the Xian city wall while we still had about a half-hour to kill before our show and dinner. The Xian wall runs 12 kilometers in length and features some very imposing guard towers. It also features a lamp post with a red drapery and a small dragon that outlines the city wall. You will find a mixture of old and new Chinese architecture along the wall, as you will exploring China in general.

We arrived at our nightly show, which this night was the Tang Dynasty show. The Tang Dynasty is distinguished as the most progressive and prosperous era in the history of China. The dances were traditional Chinese dances that gave thanks to prosperous seasons and weather. The costumes and the performances were simply stunning. After the show we were treated to a Dumpling Ceremony right in the theatre. Chinese dumplings are among one of the most famous dishes in Xian. Each dumpling is hand-wrapped and stuffed with a freshly prepared filling. Sweet, savory, vegetarian, meat-filled, fruit-filled, and many other flavours were available, each with its own unique design.

We continue exploring China tomorrow in the vast country’s largest metropolis—Shanghai! I, and all the members of Events & Adventures, can’t wait to see what’s in store for us there!

china trip

Events & Adventures China Trip Day 2

We started off the second day of our China trip by heading to the Temple of Heaven, which is ranked among the most famous structures in China. The temple was used several times annually when the emperor, bearing the hopes and sins of the Chinese people, humbled himself before heaven and performed rituals believed to ensure good harvests. It is a very popular place for retired Chinese folk to hang out, exercise, and play games such as hacky sack or cards.

From there we went to The Pearl Exhibition Centre were we learned a pearl’s life, how to tell the difference between a fake and a real pearl, and the different colours and sizes of pearls. We had lunch at a local restaurant and then went to Tiananmen Square, which covers 44 hectares and is the largest public square in the world. In the centre of the square are the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, where Mao Tse Tung’s embalmed body lies in state. The most recognizable feature of the Rostrum is Mao’s portrait–an almost required backdrop for any photo visitors may take of themselves. Often people go here to protest by lighting themselves on fire (true story) and you will find guards here standing near fire extinguishers.

Crossing Changan Avenue and directly behind the Rostrum is the entry to the Forbidden City, so called because it was off limits to commoners throughout the history of Imperial China. Commoners caught in the palace during this period were executed. The current construction was originally built between 1406 and 1420 by 100,000 artisans and a million labourers as a palace for the Ming and Qing Emperors; it lies on more than 178 acres and has more than 9,999 rooms (9 is a lucky number in China).

After the Forbidden City, the next stop for our China trip was the Academy of Chinese Medicine to get reflexology massages–which was much needed after the hike up The Great Wall yesterday! Both form Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper and President Obama have been treated at this academy. We finished our evening at a kung fu show with acrobats, kung fu masters and a story of a boy who grew up to be a kung fu master. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for Events & Adventures!

visit china

Events & Adventures Members Visit China!

The chance for Events & Adventures members to visit China is finally here! Day 1 here in Beijing is winding down and it was nothing short of incredible! It was a jam-packed day full of adventure, laughter, and a lot of great new memories.

Our first stop of the day was The Sacred Way—referring to the road travelled to heaven—of the Ming Tombs. Our tour guide Frank was well-informed of the area’s history as he shared the meaning and significance of the many things we would see and experience. The pathway starts with a huge stone memorial archway lying near the entrance. It was constructed in 1540, during the Ming Dynasty, and is archway is the earliest and biggest stone archway in China.

The pathway is lined with stone statues which are considered crucial decorations to the mausoleum. These statues include 12 human figures, including a general, civil officials, and meritorious officials, and 24 animals, including lions, camels, elephants, xiezhis (a mythological unicorn), horses, and qilin, which is one of the four “divine animals”. The other three divine animals are the dragon, phoenix, and tortoise. There are four of each of the animals, two standing and two squatting, each implying a different meaning.

We learned that the lion symbolizes awesome solemnity because of their ferocity. The camels and elephants suggest the vastness of the territory controlled by the court because of their dependability in places like the desert and tropics. Xiezhi was placed there to keep evil spirits away because it was believed to possess the sixth sense to tell right and wrong. The horse, as the emperor’s mount, is absolutely indispensable. It is said that these animals are supposed to change guard at midnight.

We knew if we were going to visit China, we had to see how jade was made!

After exploring The Sacred Way, our next stop was The Jade Factory. This factory was actual produced the 2008 Olympic Medals that featured white jades. We learned about the different textures and colors of jade and how each figure has its own meaning. For example, the Psu statue made from jade is believed to bring more money into the household. The male statue represents bringing the money and the female represents keeping the money.

After The Jade Factory we stopped for lunch before heading onto The Great Wall of China, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (obviously). It was a dream come true. I can honestly say I never thought I would have ever made it to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We hiked up to the top of the wall, which was beautiful and provided spectacular views (and was also really windy).

We closed out the day with a visit to a Chinese Tea Factory, where they brew the most delicious loose leaf teas, and followed that with dinner and an acrobatic show. It feels as if we have been here for a week instead of just a day. We cannot wait to see what the rest of the week will bring. Only Events & Adventures can play host to a once-in-a-lifetime experience like this, it’s definitely the only way to visit China!

curling class

Curling Class with Events & Adventures Minneapolis

Warmer Weather in Minneapolis Means….Curling Class?  Curling may seem like the last thing a winter-weary Minnesotan would want to do in spring, our club had a full turnout for Curling 101 at the Chaska Curling Center. Our members were eager to re-don their winter hats and mittens to try their hand at learning this medieval Scottish tradition.

The Chaska Curling Center was more than happy to accommodate us with the necessary equipment to start our curling adventure! First opened in December 2015, the Chaska Curling Center is home to over 1200 members with a six sheet arena, locker rooms, and a player’s lounge.

During our two-hour Learn to Curl class, our members learned curling etiquette, rules, scoring, delivery, and sweeping. Some members showed some real promise at possibly pursuing a new, and unusual, career in sports. At the end of the class, they had the option of obtaining a membership with the Chaska Curling Center and even the opportunity to enter a local league for competition.

When asked about their curling class experience, our members had this to say:

  • “If you’ve ever watched it, don’t understand, but feel like you should because you’re from the land of ice and snow, this is something to check out! Judgement free and highly encouraging. What a fun time.” ~ Lisa Ghylin
  • “I loved it, I expected it to be a little harder but I had a great time.” ~ Jeffrey Mark
  • “Amazing experience with knowledgeable instructors.” ~ Tiffany Osterman

Events & Adventures make it easy to live a life you love by finding new and exciting things for our members to do.  Contact us today to learn more about the curling class and the many other great events we host every month right here in the Twin Cities, not to mention our other clubs around the US and Canada.

spring training

Spring Training with Events & Adventures Phoenix

Here in Phoenix we have the good fortune of being the West Coast home to the wonderful world of Major League Baseball’s Spring Training games. And frankly, spring with Events & Adventures would not be complete without a fun outing in 70-degree weather to enjoy seeing the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the World Champion Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa. Sloan Park is a baseball park where the primary tenant is the Chicago Cubs, and the ballpark serves as their spring training home, but it’s also the home of the Arizona League Cubs.

Events & Adventures Phoenix attended the sold out spring training game as part of its own exclusive group!

It’s not every day you can get that close to World Series Champions to enjoy hot dogs, beer, and the American pastime. The best part of the game? The socializing of course! The lawn seats are the place to be at any spring training game. New members were amazed at how comfortable they felt stretching out on the lawn while the sun set behind the park. We laughed through all nine innings, with our favorite part being the mascots signing autographs and playfully taunting the other team throughout the stadium. There were two home runs and lots of fouls, but despite our high hopes we’ll have to wait till next time to catch one.

And in case you are wondering—yes, the Diamondbacks hit a home run right into the concession stand! Speaking of which, if you weren’t sure that a bacon-filled heaven actually exists—we can confirm it does if you are a baseball fan in Arizona! You could tell which team a fan was rooting for—the Zonies were ordering the 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and bacon, served with a side of fries, while other fans ordered the Chicago deep dish pizza.

Although Sloan Park is not their home field, the Diamondbacks sure made it feel that way as they won the game by the score of 7 to 3! It’s always exciting when the members of Events & Adventures Phoenix can get together for any sporting event, but it’s even sweeter when the home team comes away with the win.

puzzle room

Take a Shot as Sherlock in a Puzzle Room

If you have ever wanted to feel like Sherlock Holmes you need to check out a puzzle room! If you are unfamiliar with the concept, here is the gist of it: you and your team are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles and riddles and follow abstract clues in order to escape. There is an endless string of possibilities with a project like this, and each room is unique which means the game never gets old!

In January the Seattle Events and Adventures club went to a local puzzle room called Serial Mysteries. This puzzle room divided our group of 20 people into three smaller teams, each with their own obstacles to overcome. Once each team accomplished their task we were able to put the three separate pieces together in order to open the final safe and escape the room!

In March we decided to challenge ourselves yet again and went to a Redmond puzzle room called Flee Escape. For this, our group of 35 people was divided up into five separate teams. Each team had a different difficulty level and theme which meant that everybody enjoyed a personalized experience. Some of the themes we encountered included Egyptian, Museum Heist, and Escape from Prison!

What’s great about puzzle rooms is that you go in as a group of individuals and come out as a team!

You learn about one another’s strengths (word games vs. math equations) and work together to escape the room! Every team—after exiting their puzzle—was all smiles and claps on the back…even if they didn’t beat the room!

This is a great way to build friendships and learn about your fellow Events & Adventures members! Not to mention it’s super fun! So grab your magnifying glass and pipe, Sherlock, and let’s solve a mystery!

Swing Dance Into Spring with Events & Adventures

swing dancing

With Spring fast approaching (even faster for us Minnesotans it seems with all this unusual weather!), our Minneapolis members have been itching to get up and shake off the stiffness of winter! What better way to do so than to Swing into Spring?

Uniquely American in origination, swing dancing burst onto the scene in the 1920s and 30s, evolving with each new generation of music into modern times. From the eight-count Lindy Hop to the six-count East Coast Swing to the flair of the Charleston, swing dancing has something for everybody!

Here are just a couple of swing dancing tips.

  1. Learn the basics before getting too fancy!

While aerials and other more visually exciting moves are tempting to the do in the beginning, don’t do it! Not only are these moves not acceptable to do in a social dance setting, but unsafe for yourself and others if you and your partner are not well versed in them. Take your time and don’t rush!

  1. Dance with everybody! Especially in the beginning.

Take the time to dance with everyone you can, especially in the beginning. You’ll learn much quicker and this will prevent you from simply anticipating your partner’s moves since you are so familiar with them. Mix it up and ask as many people as you can to dance, and try to accept every dance you’re offered.

  1. Have fun and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

Dancing is supposed to fun and social not stuffy and full of rules. Don’t feel bad about messing up, even the best dancers have two left feet sometimes! Have fun and don’t worry about looking perfect out there.

  1. Watch better dancers dance

Get inspired by watching other better dancers go through their motions. Try out some of their moves or add tweaks to make them your own! Be as creative as you want.

  1. Dress up

Part of the fun of swing dancing is looking the part! Even if you aren’t an avid swing dancer, or are still new to it, dressing up can help boost confidence in your abilities and can just make you feel good. Pick out your favorite dress or pair of slacks, and consider investing in a pair of proper swing dancing shoes with leather or suede soles which will make dancing that much easier.

Events & Adventures is dedicated to creating fun and social environments for our quality single members, and swing dancing is just one of those events that checks all those boxes. So consider Swingin’ into Spring this year by trying one of our swing dancing events! You won’t regret it.